Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by Marvey, Oct 21, 2015.
Not sure, they were Marvs.
Which HEK are you talkin' about ? Marv's one?
These are better. No TP mods required at all. Still on the soft side. The Dharmas were very eye opening. Not the best quality bass, but did some things fantastically well with good integration between drivers.
I'm waiting to put my hands on this Dharma.. this one is really intriguing . one of these is coming to my home for testing purpose.
btw. thks for impressions and pics . it's always a pleasure for people who can't come ( for obscure reasons... )
I have to say I agree with Zero on this one. The BW is as close to a tubed EC in a solid state. Nothing seems to beat tubes for those toe curling vocals. It is a great amp with orthos as well. Wish I coud have made it down. Maybe I should just retire. Wait...... I'm getting the "no way" look from my wife.
I want to thank everyone who came to this meet as it was definitely a special one mostly because of all the people I was able to meet. Also can't forget about the gear not because of what was there but because of the dedication people made to stick that much gear into their vehicle so that everyone could listen to the best of the best. Obviously we are talking about @drfindley who not only brought the studio in his car but also his complete vinyl setup.
Special thanks goes out to Ravi (buying lunch but that is not all of course), CEETEE, and Marv for taking times away from their families to come to the meet. I know it's hard as it's holiday times but it's much appreciated. Also of course for their dedication and contributions to the community. 2016 is going to be a big year and hopefully we will have more meets like this as even if it's just a meet to hang out and have dinner I'm always down.
Honestly hosting was very rewarding and if we want to do it again and need a place let me know.
Now I guess I owe everyone some impressions on the Studio with the HEX. The Studio is amazing and is the amp that surpasses the ZD by a wide margin. With the HEX the resolution with the ZD was excellent however, the Studio takes it to another level. Every single detail you could pick up out of any piece of music I chose was picked up. The bass that I felt was a tad light on the ZD was still a tad light on the Studio but it's a different type of light. The light I describe is light in impact however, it's just so tight and punchy. I would describe the bass as tonally accurate. Songs like "Nothin But a G Thang" by Dr Dre feat Snoop Dogg didn't kick the way it normally would out of my gov2 with my HD650 but the bass is just much tighter and accurate with no bloat. The resolution, details, and clarity on songs such as "More Human than Human" by White Zombie and "Beautiful People" by Marilyn Manson was jaw dropping. It was just something else. No matter what headphone was thrown at the Studio it sounded what I would consider a great pairing. When you add the vinyl factor it only amplified the organic dynamic nature of each Miles Davis song. If I could afford one of these I would have no problem dropping $7k on an amp that sounds great with basically any headphone at the top of the food chain. For those of you receiving theirs soon or are still waiting let me tell you IMO it's definitely worth it. To me with this amp this is the closest to neutrality as you can get. Great job Craig and Marv for making an amazing amp that many will find to be satisfying for years to come.
Oh!! Forgot to mention that the Torpedo III is quite a fine amp for dynamic headphones...
Wide stage, really natural-sounding and extremely good with Gungnir Multi-bit DAC. Seriously build one of these if you have Gumby and dynamics and do not yet have a tube amp. The staging/presentation is different than the BW (bigger stage with less forward and concentrated center). I liked it better with some gear combos.
Negative? The guys were saying that the Torpedo was not good with some planars they tried (Enigmas, for example).
Thanks to Nick for hosting! Awesome job, man. Hope the mess we made doesn't get you fired.
We had a smaller crowd for Sunday but still had some great gears to listen to.
I was glad I got to share some Crack 2 goodness with everyone as I know not many have had a chance to hear that one yet.
It pains me that I wasn't able to convince more of you to join the church of KG amps . To my ears the SuSy Dynalo was competitive with every other sub $1,500 amp at the meet. It quite easily won my personal 4-way shootout with the Crack 2, BW, and T3. Naturally I'm listening to it right now while I write up these impressions. It doesn't leave me wanting for much. I care most about a neutral tonality and well-defined, tight bass. I think it delivers both quite well. Thanks again to Constantine for the extended-loan. I'm going to cry when I have to give this guy back.
Speaking of my 4-way shootout, I was glad to have a chance to compare so many great amps. In order of my preference:
1. SuSy Dynalo
2. Crack 2
You could switch the Crack 2 and BW and not get much argument from me. The Crack 2 is a "for fun" amp that has nowhere near the detail of its solid state brethren yet to me sounds super relaxing with its dark/warm sound signature and its full, bouncy bass.
I liked but didn't love BW. I think the Dynalo has a sweetness to the treble that the BW lacks and more control down low. Again, I think the BW is a nice amp, just maybe not quite as deserving of the level of hype it gets around here (just like how I think the Rag is also nice but over-hyped).
I'm super glad to see CeeTee's Zana just needed a kick in the ass from Marv to get it working again. I have always liked every Zana I've heard and CeeTee's was no exception. We paired it up against the Studio. While it was handily beaten, I could live with the Zana and be perfectly happy. I put the Zana and the Dynalo in the same tier, quality-wise. I could live with either as my only amp.
Speaking of quality, Findley's Studio rig flat-out delivered. I could just relax and listen to that rig for hours on end. The Studio sounded transparent and organic in the very best of ways. Digital sounded great out of it but vinyl brought it up to another level. Findley is slowly breaking me down, meet-by-meet until I end up joining the dark (vinyl) side. Only minor quibbles with the Studio were that it had an annoying ring when you switched the input (microphonic driver tubes picking up vibration?) and I thought it could use a little more weight and punch down low... a problem I bet Adam will be able to solve with a little 2a3 tube-rolling.
Also, in the spirit of modding present at the meet I chose to use the whisky-mod to aid in getting good impressions. It worked great.
Studio with Vinyl
Studio with Digital
How did you like the HD800 mods?
I thought Adam's HD800s sounded very nice and were probably the best sounding headphones at the meet. I'm looking forward to comparing them to the HD800S I have on order at another mini-meet possibly later this month or early Feb once they ship.
Also I was surprised how much I liked the HE-X. At the same price point as the HD800's I know which one I'd buy, but still, nice to see good stuff coming out of HiFiMan.
Glad you were able to validate the mod. We went through about $500 of different materials before I settled on that one. We're going to work on a resonator for the regular HD800 next and whenever Marv or I gets an HD800S, we'll work on adapting the rug liner mod to that headphone as well.
Big thanks to Nick for hosting such a great mini meet, and thank you guys for bringing some many good gears
I'm targeting the Dharma for a while, still think I'm getting one but it's just too hard to find the right amp. @Bill-P
Maybe I should just stick with my ESP950 until the right amp shows up....
Wish Nick still has space to accept one more HUGE THANKS from me for such a great meetup at the beginning of 2016!
Other than the perfect Studio, the best chain for me is Gumby -> ZD -> D1000.
Also the Leckerton small amp really works well with D1000, though no as good as ZD, still worth a lot more than its price.
Sounds like it was good times. Man, the studio sounds jaw dropping. At $7k I'm probably best off *not* having heard it though.
The ZDS is doing a good enough job of making me smile ear to ear for now.
Sorry I couldn't meet up with some of you guys on Sunday. I had to get back to work today.
I decided that the SDS (AC regenerator) thing is important for me with the VPI table. I wasn't sure because the platter is so darn heavy that I expected some speed stability from that alone. I might try the Falcon / Roadrunner from Phoenix Engineering to try out.
Damn I'd love to hear some of that gear. The Dynalo is especially intriguing, maybe one of these days I'll convince myself to DIY something like that. Only concern being the lack of balanced pre-outs in the case of my setup... Can't live without em.
As someone who has never been able to make it to a meet and also owns the ESP950's I would like to ask your impression of how it compares with the other gear present. I have modded my ear pads and dampened the baffle (might upload the mod instructions sometime soon...) and am left wondering how far "upward" I can go from here... and at what cost.
'twas a great meet, folks!!!
1st blood: he listened to my modded HD580. Bwahahaha!
2nd blood: Nick going "BTA Mod + Studio = WTF??"
The cherry-picked HEK...
And Don-modded Grado. This one actually sounds pretty good with the right music.
And other headphones in attendance...
Another HEK + LCD-XC. Huh... now that I think about it, we should have done a comparison.
UERM!!! One day, I'll have mine. (maybe it'd be UERR instead?)
If only I focused on that power cable in the back...
Need a caption for this one. Also... Ravi's expression is GOLD!!!
Other stars at the show...
Don-modded Yamaha ortho. Bass!
Marv's TH-X00. He forgot to pick it up, so I snatched it and brought it home with me. It will see... unimaginable horrors. Luckily, it won't experience such horrors.
HD800 out of ZD... sublime!!
LCD-XC is still sitting on the rack!
...and Leckerton UHA-6S Mk.II, the only amp at the meet that makes sense with Dharma, I think.
Last but not least, porn shot of the Enigma. I wish Luis will make my Code-X with this wood tone... because it looks seductive as HELL!!!
Did anyone pick up my X00s? I think I left them there. NVM. You got them. Feel free to mod them.
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